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Yokohama cites North America as contributor to sales gains

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. says strong tire sales in North America contributed to its overall sales growth during the three months ended June 30, 2006, the first quarter of Yokohama's 2007 fiscal year.

Yokohama's total net sales increased by 11% to 106.8 billion yen during those months. (Yokohama's fiscal year runs from April 1, 2006, to March 31, 2007.)

Yokohama's Tire Group sales rose 11.8% over previous year levels to 79.2 billion yen during those months.

Based on the exchange rate on June 30, 2006, Yokohama posted overall net sales of $933 million; its Tire Group recorded sales of $692 million.

However, escalating raw material prices offset sales growth in the Tire Group and contributed to an operating income loss of nearly 65%, according to Yokohama officials.

"Increases in raw material prices have been larger than management at Yokohama expected."

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